5 tips to progress from beginner to intermediate surfer

Norbert Ferenczi
12 of January 2023
5 tips to progress from beginner to intermediate surfer

5 fundamental tips to progress from being a white water beginner surfer to an outside intermediate surfer.

Have you ever wondered what kind of scenery you could witness from behind the waves? Or do you feel the need to ride those picture perfect “green waves”?

Well, in this article we are going to bring you a paddle stroke closer to reach the line up.

Reading waves!

The ocean is just like a book with many different kinds of waves, as different kinds of letters you have in the alphabet.

The more you enter the ocean, the more you will understand its surroundings.  Even if you just sit on the beach and watch other surfers or just notice how the waves are breaking , you will improve a lot on your “reading” skills.

The goal would be to understand the right timing for paddling out and to choose the right direction of the waves . This can be left or right or a no go “closeout”.

Praia da Rocha, Portimão

Be aware of the hazards!

Since surfing is an extreme sport, safety always comes first and as soon as your feet leave the ground and your body lays on the surfboard to paddle you have to be more aware of the hazards.

Ideally you always want to check your surfspot from high up. That way you can spot the currents , the rocks, and how the sandbanks are located.

You also want to see if the size of the waves matches your skills. A good measurement can be to compare the surfer who is riding  so you can see the wave behind.

It can be ankle high, knee high, shoulder high or head high. At one point it is just becoming too dangerous for all of us.

If you don’t feel confident when judging the conditions and hazards, always speak to people around. Contact a local surf school, lifeguards or local surfers to help you. 

Praia da Rocha, Portimão

Nail that pop-up!

Before you start riding the “green waves” you have to make sure that your pop up is clear and your posture is steady.

You don’t want to touch the board with your knees, instead the right way is landing your back foot flat first then your front foot flat so you can ride out the wave with more control.

Make sure that you press down the weight on your front foot and bend your knees. 

If you notice that in the white water you can succeed most of the time, you can start thinking about paddling for unbroken waves. You can also practice your pop up on the beach or even at home on a yoga mat.

Praia da Rocha, Portimão

Sit up on your board!

Just like evolution happened, that human started to walk on 2 feet the transmission of an intermediate surfer is starting with sitting up on the board.

Once you sit up you are not going to float around the ocean towards the current. The horizon becomes more open, so you can notice and judge the waves much earlier.

Get a few surf lessons!

Before you start to paddle out it is highly recommended to have a few surf lessons with professional teachers.

This way , you will get to know more about the beach, they will introduce you to the right paddling techniques and surf etiquette.

Furthermore, providing you a safe environment to enter the next level of surfing.

Bordeira beach, Aljezur